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How to make it: Fernando Santero’s paella Valenciana

This family recipe for traditional paella comes courtesy of Fernando Santero, a self-described ‘passionate Valencian cook’ working in London. You’ll need a paella pan.

How to make it: Fernando Santero’s paella Valenciana
Fernando Santero's paella Valenciana.

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Serves: 4
Takes: 40 mins

Ingredients
100ml olive oil
1 large red pepper, cut into
strips (optional)
600g mixed chicken legs and wings, bone-in, cut into 30g-40g
(6-10cm) pieces
600g rabbit meat, chopped into pieces like the chicken
150g garrofón beans (or broad beans or lima beans)
300g ferradura beans, helda beans, young runner beans or mangetout
150g French haricots verts
2-3 tomatoes, grated
1.2l boiling water or light stock
1 tbsp mild pimentón
400g bomba paella rice
pinch saffron strands, bruised and left to steep in 50ml boiling water
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Method
1 Heat the oil in a paella pan. Fry the red pepper strips (if using) until softened, then remove and reserve for decoration.
2 Add the chicken and rabbit, and cook, stirring often, until browned and cooked through. Add the beans and tomatoes, and cook for a few minutes until pulpy.
3 Stir in the pimentón until evenly distributed. Add the water or stock — a Spanish cook’s trick for doing this without measuring is to fill it up to the two nails of its handles — and season to taste. Add the saffron and its liquid, and the rosemary.
4 Tip in the rice and simmer over a medium-low heat for 20 mins, or until the liquid is absorbed. Increase the heat for the last 3 mins of cooking to allow the ‘socarrat’ crust to form in the bottom of the pan.
5 Remove the paella from the heat and cover with kitchen paper or a clean cloth, then splash a little water over the top. Leave to rest for up to 10 mins before serving. This allows the bomba to fully absorb the broth without drying out.

Read more about paella in this feature by Michael Raffaeli.

Published in Issue 1 of National Geographic Traveller Food